Lauderdale County, in northwest Alabama, has been one of the last Democrat strong-holds in Alabama; that is, until this year. The values of the people of Lauderdale County are much the same as those other parts of the state, but they have historically voted for Democratic candidates. And, of course, one reason for that was because the ALGOP had not made an effort to assist the local party in recruiting candidates or in supporting local Republican efforts in northwest Alabama. We have always been told that Republicans couldn’t be elected in Lauderdale County!
After becoming Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, I became aware of this painfully obvious lack of success in Lauderdale County and northwest Alabama. So, I made it one of my goals to prove we could elect Republicans in every corner of the state, including the northwest corner of Alabama. The initiative to turn Lauderdale County red began by making sure we had outstanding candidates to run for local office, and by providing them, and the Lauderdale County Republican Party, with the necessary financial and manpower support to win.
As a result of having great candidates and a strong coordinated effort between ALGOP and the Lauderdale County Republican Party, we saw resounding victory after victory in Lauderdale County and all across northwest Alabama this year. With a combination of incredible candidates, resources from the local party and ALGOP and a cohesive strategy, we managed to win every single local race in Lauderdale County. Prior to November 4, 2014, Lauderdale County had only elected one countywide Republican in the last 140 years.
>>>We could not have had a better standard-bearer leading our local candidates than our newly elected Sheriff Rick Singleton. Sheriff-elect Singleton led the ticket with a whopping 64% of the vote. Singleton earned the respect of the voters in Lauderdale County after having served as Police Chief of Florence for over 16 years. And, of course, many of us have known Chief Singleton for years, as he has served on the Alabama Republican State Executive Committee.
Lauderdale County voters continued to vote Republican straight down the ballot, and elected two new members to the Lauderdale County Commission, giving us a majority, and one member to the County Board of Education.
We are all elated over the hard work done by our local candidates, the Lauderdale County Republican Executive Committee and the many grassroots volunteers, who made this the most successful Republican victory in Lauderdale County history. However, we didn’t stop at the county level. Voters in Lauderdale County replaced a liberal Democrat House member with our conservative Republican House candidate, Philip Pettus. In addition, they also helped to ensure the re-election of conservative Republican Rep. Lynn Greer.
We all know the Republican tide didn’t stop there. Lauderdale County voters gave their support to two Republicans running for the State Senate from northwest Alabama – Dr. Tim Melson and Dr. Larry Stutts. Dr. Melson is the first Republican ever to be elected to Senate District 1, which includes Lauderdale, Limestone and Madison Counties. Dr. Stutts is the first Republican ever to be elected to Senate District 6, which includes Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin, Marion and Lawrence Counties. Dr. Stutts defeated long-time liberal Democrat Senator Roger Bedford, who was believed by many to be invincible.
What a phenomenal election for Lauderdale County and northwest Alabama! In summary, below are the Republican candidates whom the voters placed their confidence in on November 4, 2014:
Senate District 1 – Dr. Tim Melson
Senate District 6 – Dr. Larry Stutts
House District 1 – Phillip Pettus
House District 2 – Lynn Greer
Sheriff – Rick Singleton
County BOE – Ronnie Owens
County Commission – Joe Hackworth
County Commission – Danny Pettus
Congratulations to outgoing Lauderdale County Republican Party County Chairman Scott Jones, newly elected Chairman Quinton Hanson and their county committee for their efforts to make these victories a reality. The degree of the success of the election in Lauderdale County could not have been made possible without the tireless efforts of ALGOP Field Representative Trey Edwards. Trey worked at the county headquarters, organized door to door canvasing, helped candidates with their overall campaign strategy, put up and repaired road signs and generally did whatever was needed.
Trey says that the defining characteristic he saw in working with Lauderdale County was the unity displayed by all, saying that the candidates and the Executive Committee worked as a single unit as if they were one campaign with one goal. They helped each other and sacrificed for each other, helping everyone in the long run. Trey said, “We spoke and worked as one voice, and went into the race with the mindset that we would win or lose together. Lauderdale County should act as a model for other counties in how they conducted themselves as a whole”.
Congratulations to the entire Republican team in Lauderdale County for making history by electing a record number of Republicans in northwest Alabama!